Season Awareness Day - Winter Solstice

Season Awareness Day - Winter Solstice


This is the season when water is the dominant element. It is the time of feelings, a deep Yin time. Winter is the time to replenish yourself and bring all the constitutions into balance. Read what you can do to balance yourself.

10 Things You Can Do With Aloe Vera

The miracle skin saver

Your mom was onto something when she snipped off the tip of an aloe leaf and squeezed it onto your sunburn. The plant has been shown in studies to help heal minor wounds eight days faster than standard dressing, not to mention it’s an antibacterial and contains vitamins and minerals that can ease eczema and psoriasis flare-ups. But creative and enterprising beauty experts are using it for a lot more than the occasional cut or rash; they’re using it to get gorgeous, too.   Read more  http://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty/10-things-you-can-do-aloe-vera

Healthy Herbs: 25 Of The Best For Your Body

There are a number of delicious foods you can eat for the sake of your health -- but still, all too often, we hear complaints that healthful food just doesn't taste good.

Enter herbs and spices. The aromatic flavorings can transform a dish without adding calories or fat (for the most part). But many of the roots and seeds and leaves and flowers pack surprising additional health benefits of their own. From promoting longevity to fighting pain and more, here are 26 of the healthiest herbs and spices of all time, as nominated by HuffPost Wellness Editor, Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald. Read more http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/healthy-herbs-spices-healthiest_n_2089007.html

5 health benefits of fresh herbs

Boost brainpower with rosemary

Here’s a great reason to keep a pot of fragrant rosemary in your kitchen: Recently, scientists at the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre in the U.K. reported that having higher blood levels of one of this herb’s main chemical compounds—absorbed from its aroma—was linked to the speed and accuracy of study participants’ cognitive performance. The higher the level of the compound in the blood, the better the outcome.





Prevent breast cancer with parsley

Toss parsley into salads for its high levels of apigenin. A study in Cancer Prevention Research showed that when rats with a certain type of breast cancer were exposed to apigenin, they developed fewer tumours and had delays in tumour formation compared to rats not exposed. Apigenin blocked the creation of new blood vessels required for tumours to grow and multiply.

Soothe your colon with peppermint

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 20 percent of Canadians and many more women than men. Last year, scientists at the University of Adelaide in Australia showed how peppermint helps to relieve IBS by activating an anti-pain channel in the colon. It reduced pain-sensing fibres, particularly those activated by eating chili and mustard.

Fight inflammation with oregano

Research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that when mice with inflamed paws were treated with oregano’s active ingredient—beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP)—the swelling subsided in 70 percent of cases. E-BCP links to structures in a cell’s membrane, inhibiting the production of substances that signal inflammation.

Get your antioxidants from fresh thyme

Sprinkle fresh thyme on salmon or chicken that’s headed for the grill: Among fresh herbs, thyme has the second-highest amount of antioxidants (sage has slightly more), according to its oxygen radical absorbance capacity—a measure of a food’s ability to fight off disease-causing free radicals in our body. Thyme is also a very good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron and dietary fibre. Read more http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/5-health-benefits-of-fresh-herbs?slide=5

How spices and herbs could reduce salt and fat

 Britain is on the brink of a health crisis with one in four adults already obese and the figures set to climb to 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women by 2050.

Three in every 10 children aged between two and 15 are overweight or obese.

Being overweight raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke.

Obesity and diabetes already costs the UK over £5billion every year which is likely to rise to £50 billion in the next 36 years.  

Why have people become so big?

Processed food contains large amounts of fat and salt, often as a preservative so that food lasts longer.

Because fat and salt is cheap, it is used to mask the lack of flavour in food which has become bland through over-processing.  Read more http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/dietandfitness/11193969/How-spices-and-herbs-could-reduce-salt-and-fat.html

How to Make Nettle Pesto

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2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons pine nuts, roasted
2 tablespoons grated Percorino or Parmesan cheese
6-8 tablespoons blanched, chopped nettles
pinch or 2 Coarse Salt
Extra virgin Olive oil to desired level


Toast the pine nuts in a pan.
Blanch the nettles with the nuts in the hot pan.
Put the nut/nettle mixture in a pestle and mortar with the garlic and grind to a pulp, adding olive oil as you go.
Add the cheese and grind some more.

How I learned to think like a mushroom

We need fungal solutions to pollution, pandemics, and starvation, says Tradd Cotter, a microbiologist and professional mycologist.

I have been studying mushrooms, inside and out, macroscopically and microscopically, for the past 22 years. At times I imagine myself deep into their chemical consciousness to figure out what they are thinking and what they are experiencing. Why? To gain a higher understanding of their individual needs on a species by species basis. I know this sounds strange, and, trust me, on occasion I look in the mirror for signs of gills emerging from my neck or a Cordyceps mushroom sprouting from the back of my head like a possessed ant, as I near the final stages of my personalized mushroom infection.

Now, you don’t need to go to these extremes to be a good mushroom grower. But, who wants to be good? Greatness is committing one step higher and at a level that can make the impossible a reality. That’s what I attempt to teach folks in my new book, Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation: Simple to Advanced Techniques for Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation.

Fungi, with their branching fungal filaments called hyphae (collectively called mycelium), are constantly sampling their environment’s chemical properties, using specialized cell tips that can read the composition of a substance like a laboratory liquid chromatographer. These rapid tests signals the mycelium to adjust its internal assembly lines, shifting genetic expression, to manufacture whatever it needs to overcome, or succeed in this newly sampled environment, or in many instances, when it encounters a competitor or pathogen competing with its territory. This interface environment is where the magic happens, and this is where I try to place myself—deep into the matrix to gain a better understanding of these interactions between fungi and their immediate environments.

Read more http://boingboing.net/2014/09/16/how-i-learned-to-think-like-a.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+boingboing%2FiBag+%28Boing+Boing%29

10 Best Herbs for Female Hormone Balance


Decreased sexual desire, low energy, and hormonal imbalance can cause a great deal of stress for women, contributing to a low quality of life. Of course, environmental toxins and pseudo-hormones (like BPA) only make the situation worse. Fortunately, a woman of any age can naturally balance and restore her hormone levels with these 10 herbs, all of which have been validated by modern science.


1. Ashwagandha

A mainstay of Ayurveda, ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress hormones (ie., cortisol), a factor known for destabilizing endocrine function and early aging in women. As it stimulates blood flow to a woman’s reproductive organs, ashwagandha may increase arousal and sensitivity, making it a popular choice for women looking to regain their sex drive and satisfaction. Women suffering through menopause also report significant improvements in alleviating common symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety, and depression.

2. Avena Sativa

Generations of women swear by avena sativa–or oats, being its common name–as a libido enhancer, alleviator of menstrual cramps, and general aphrodisiac. It is believed to increase blood flow and stimulate the central nervous system, encouraging the physical and emotional desire for sex. Researchers also believe avena sativa frees bound testosterone, an essential hormone for sexual desire in both genders.

Read more http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/10-best-herbs-for-female-hormone-balance/

Dacha vulnerary herbs: Celandine


The summer and autumn months are a time when medicinal herbs grow luxuriantly at Russian dachas. It’s not hard to find entire “garden pharmacies” with common and rare kinds of medicinal plants. The simplest of these is celandine.

Celandine is picked in bloom in May-September during dry weather. The branches are cut or broken at a height of 10-15 cm from the ground. The sap inside the roots, stems, and leaves is not wasted. Celandine sap possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, antimicrobial, wound-healing, and cauterizing properties. The fresh sap and crushed herbs of celandine are used to treat warts, corns, and even freckles.

Read more http://rbth.com/multimedia/video/2014/08/26/dacha_plants_celandine_39311.html

Hyde Park farmers say nation's demand for organic herbs outpaces local production

Hyde Park – Standing recently in a neatly tended field of orange-blossomed calendula, Melanie Carpenter looked over at her family's sprawling vegetable garden nearby and said regretfully, "It's a mess. We just don't have the time to manage it."

By most standards the vegetable garden looked just fine, but at peak harvest season it simply cannot be the priority for Zack Woods Herb Farm co-owners Melanie and her husband Jeff Carpenter.

The couple, with help from a crew of five, cultivates a variety of certified organic herbs and plants on 10 acres of land.

Over the last 16 years, they have built their medicinal herb business from its first year sales of 100 pounds of dehydrated herbs to last year's total of 2 tons.

While many people believe that eating your vegetables will help keep you healthy, the Carpenters believe strongly that regularly consuming certain types of herbs can do the same.


Read more http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/longform/life/food/2014/08/22/tiny-flavorful-herbs-grown-ton/14387617/

Love's Summer Backyard Herb Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart of bliss


2.5 cups half and half

0.5 cups heavy cream

4 egg yolks, whisked well

3/4 cup cane sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp cream cheese -or- dry milk powder (optional)

2 cups packed fresh herb leaves, torn (75% less if stronger herbs like thyme or rosemary)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp rum, creme de menthe, or vodka (optional)

3/4 cup good quality dark chocolate, chopped finely (optional)


Put half and half, cream, yolks, sugar, salt (and optional cream cheese or milk powder) in a saucepan.
Over medium heat, whisk constantly and bring gently to a simmer (180F). Remove from heat. Stir in
mint leaves. Cover and steep for 1 hour.
Pour mixture into a strainer over another pot. Using the back of a soup ladle, press out all the liquid
from the mint leaves and discard them.
Stir in vanilla, optional spirits, and refrigerate overnight. Place a layer of film wrap over the surface to
prevent a skin from forming. Place an empty quart container in the freezer for later.
Add the refrigerated ice cream base to ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
When churning is complete (soft serve texture and about 20°F), alternately layer the chocolate with
scoops of the ice cream into the frozen container. Serve immediately for a soft serve texture, or
freeze overnight in the coldest part of the freezer for a hard scoop texture.


© 2013 Love's Ice Cream


Herbs That Prevent Cancer

Cancer is caused due to rapid increase in the number of cells in the body. It can lead to death if it is not treated timely. You can get cancer due to hereditary reasons or unhealthy lifestyle. Prevention is a better option. There are various ways to prevent cancer naturally. Herbs can be used to prevent cancer. There are various common herbs that prevent cancer. They include herbs that can be grown in the garden at home. It has always been considered that herbs have a better healing power. Nature has been created so beautifully that every plant that is grown has a medicinal value and people, especially from India, have spent their lifetime to learn about this. So, there is no surprise when we say that there are herbs that prevent cancer.


Sometimes these herbs are also used to accelerate the chemotherapy without harming the other tissues. When we have to answer the question how to prevent cancer naturally using herbs, the following are few garden herbs that can be used to prevent cancer.

Read more at: http://www.boldsky.com/health/disorders-cure/2014/herbs-that-prevent-cancer-042856.html


CTRC Researchers Looking Into Spicy Foods For Cancer Prevention | Texas Public Radio

Scientists are testing the theory that controlling inflammation with foods can change the chances of a recurrence of breast cancer.

Chef Iverson Brownell is surrounded by bowls with pre-measured bits of herbs and spices, ready to add them to the recipes he will teach to the ladies in the class. read more